Employment and Career Status of People with Disabilities
This paper investigates the employment and career status of people with disabilities. It examines the challenges and developing career goals, and plans of action. Providing career development services to people with disabilities has always been a challenge to career counsellors. Generally, the vocational adjustment of people with disabilities has been characterized by limited salable work skills, low income, underemployment, unemployment (Curnow, 1989). In addition, Harrington (1997) opined that students with disabilities frequently leave school without marketable skills or the ability to function independently. Such students therefore lack the opportunity to participate in decision making, to form a perception of oneself as a worker, they lack self competences and this can impede career development. The disempowering nature of these classification systems is often all too apparent to people with disabilities applying for rehabilitation services in an effort to enhance self sufficiency and personal independence (Scotch 2000) rather than being treated as adults with free or equal status, they may be confronted by able bodied persons asserting a right to determine what kind of services they need. Thus, it is critically important that career counsellors reject paternalistic castification processes and activity work to foster empowerment among their clients with disabilities.Empowering People with Disabilities through Career CounsellingThree milestone pieces of Federal legislation passed in the 1990’s set a tone of empowerment and choice regarding service provision to people with disabilities and consumer movement among people with disabilities originally begun in the 1960’s. These pieces of legislation are the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), the 1992 Rehabilitation Act Amendments, and the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act of 1999. Effective career counselling can thus be instrumental for empowering the life choices and career success of clients with disabilities. Apply career counselling structure within an empowerment framework will enable clients with disabilities to become active and well informed.